so yesterday my family (or part of it) and i went out to the national harbor for my husband's last graduation of the season. (i tell you, graduation season drags on forever for us.) it was nice, and i wish i had actually written this blog post last night like i meant to because it already feels like years ago and parts of it are fuzzy. lesson learned: my memory sucks and/or i suck at blogging and/or i was drugged. since i didn't eat or drink anything there, though, the last one is a little far-fetched.
i did see a friend from school that i haven't seen in years, and i mean years and years. not any high school friend that i graduated with but someone from the years when my cheeks were still super chubby and i was too shy to talk to anyone. it always surprises me when people recognize me slash remember me. i know that sounds really self-deprecating, but like the narrator of the princess bride, i rate high on forgetability. i just don't feel like i make a lasting impression on people, and the fact that most people who do "recognize" me are mistaking me for my younger sister just goes to prove my point. i'm mostly completely okay with it. when someone remembers me from the days where i was making it my personal goal to be the most wallflowerish wallflower in history... well, i find it both shocking and kind of amazingly awesome.
there was also a point in the ceremony, when they were drawing names for free airplane tickets, where we were all very suddenly evacuated from the building. since that very morning i had been making comments about how the people staying at the hotel must have been freaking out because it was so overrun with saudis, my mind immediately went to either a) someone threatened the room's safety somehow (a history of bomb threats being made to my grade school led to this one) or b) something happened to the hotel and we were all going to be blamed because why wouldn't they blame the congregation of saudis? did you not watch what happened with the boston bombing? anyway, it wasn't long before we were let back in, but i never did find out exactly what happened. some people were speculating that the fire alarm went off again (there was an incident that morning where someone was stupidly smoking in the hotel and set off the fire alarm), but no one could confirm it. i'm a very curious person and would still like to know.
events like this always fill me with a love/hate thing for saudis (and arabs in general). i mean, on the one hand, i really do think it's great that they can hold on to their culture (while still experiencing the new culture and assimilating without giving up their identity) and everyone seems so genuinely proud of their country and achievements that it's infectious. on the other hand, there are some extremely judgey and stuck up people (like the woman i had never seen before who very openly pointed me out to her friend while whispering something before they proceeded to laugh at me. i mean, who does that?) that make me remember why i never really feel like i fit in with them in the first place. ah, the joys of having a foot in two cultures and never really being fully in either one.
anyway, it was a fun day overall and now i am off to read. (i have a list of books i'm trying to get through before my family leaves the country, because once they're gone i'm planning on taking a few book-free weeks to really get my novel edited. i doubt i'll get through them all, but here's to hoping.)
*Everything Will Be Alright - The Killers